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Hog futures hit 4-week high; cattle futures slow

28 December 2021

Cattle futures were mixed on Monday

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) US hog futures rose for the fourth straight trading session on Monday, as the market continued to see support from a government report last week that showed smaller-than-expected national inventory numbers, traders said.

Most-active February hog futures settled the day up 0.425 cent at 83.65 cents per pound, reported Reuters.

Earlier in the session, the contract traded at 84.650 cents per pound, the highest since 26 November.

April hogs ended the day up 1.075 cents at 87.725 cents per pound.

Traders said they were focused on last week's US Department of Agriculture (USDA) hogs and pigs quarterly report, which said the US hog herd totalled 74.2 million head on 1 December, down 4% from a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected the herd would be 2.9% smaller.

Investors were paying attention to the US hog inventory, too, which was down 4% from a year earlier according to USDA, Karl Setzer, commodity risk analyst for AgriVisor, said in an analyst note on Monday.

"Data also indicated US hog litters were smaller than a year ago, which could further tighten the US pork supply in future months," Setzer said.

On Monday, USDA quoted the US pork cutout at $86.33 per hundred weight (cwt), down $5.14 from Thursday.

In the beef markets, cattle futures were mixed on Monday, as traders anticipated steady-to-heavier buying of cash cattle by meat packers this week.

"The packers are buying for a full kill next week," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based US Commodities. "Just because it's the holidays, the plants are still running, the grocery stores still need to be stocked and people are still eating."

CME February live cattle futures settled down 0.350 cent at 139.275 cents per pound. CME March feeder cattle fell 0.475 cent to 163.275 cents.

Source: Reuters



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